Heron Named Distinguished School

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced Heron School in Natomas has been selected one of 387 exemplary California elementary schools named a 2012 California Distinguished School.


“Congratulations to you and to your staff for the well-deserved recognition,” wrote Natomas interim superintendent Dr. Walter Hanline in a message to Heron principal Doug Orr sharing the news. “Your hard work paid off – well done!”

Heron School is one of seven Sacramento County schools being recognized for innovative education programs that encourage students to learn and help close the achievement gap.

“The schools we are recognizing today demonstrate the incredible commitment of California’s teachers, administrators, and school employees to provide a world-class education to every student, in spite of the financial hardships facing our state and our schools,” Torlakson said. “Their dedication is inspiring, and I applaud and admire their passion and persistence.”

The 2012 California Distinguished Schools Program focuses on California’s students and their entitlement to an equitable and rigorous education. The program identifies and honors schools statewide that have demonstrated educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap.

To be invited to apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including designated federal and state accountability measures based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Academic Performance Index requirements. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Dept. of Education invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The application process consists of a written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school’s signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices. Elementary and secondary schools (middle and high schools) are recognized in alternate years. This year focuses on elementary schools.

Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and serve as mentors to other educators who want to replicate their work.

Schools selected for recognition will be honored as Distinguished Schools at award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2012 Distinguished School plaque and flag. The event and awards are funded by donations from many of California’s most prominent corporations and statewide educational organizations.

The list of schools is attached or may be found on the California Department of Education Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.

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